When you suspect that something smells a little funny in any union activity, just follow the money. Unions preach that trusts and monopolies are a by-product of big business and must be evil and bad. It would be wonderful to get the Wisconsin Education Association Council (WEAC) to explain the facts that should be interesting to every American taxpayer. WEAC is a “union” that is affiliated with National Education Association (NEA) and their website says they represent 98,000 educators in the State of Wisconsin.
WEAC has a vested interest in fighting the proposal to strip the unions from collective bargaining rights. In 2009 WEAC collected over $25,000,000.00 from teachers. If the proposed changes are passed by the legislature, the state will no longer have to deduct the union dues from the teacher’s paychecks. Also union members will not be obligated to pay union dues.
If you dig a little deeper the primary reason WEAC is so distressed is more obvious. The proposed legislation will have a negative financial impact on the WEA trust. The WEA Trust is owned and managed by WEAC. This trust is responsible for managing teacher’s benefits and provides the insurance for each school district. These benefits are contracted with individual school districts. The pressure from the teachers, who own the trust, is so intense it is nearly impossible for the school board to buy cheaper insurance on the competitive market.
WEA has a net worth of $316,000,000.00 and a team of twelve administrators all receiving total compensation exceeding six figures per year.
Once they pressure a school district to buy their insurance, it becomes nearly impossible to refuse to renew regardless of rates. If the district tries to change, WEAC takes it to arbitration and with their political power seldom lose a case.
The WEA business practices also prohibit any competitor from reviewing prior claims which makes it impossible for a competitor to estimate accurate costs history.
Some 15 school districts have severed buying from the WEA Trust and it was reported that the savings were over six figures in the first year. But even here there was another pressure that emerged. To reduce the resistance they were forced to share the insurance savings they made with their local union officials, usually in the form of salary increases.
Now you might know why the teachers and unions are so distressed in fighting the Wisconsin Governor and the brave Representatives/Senators. These folks are trying to bring common sense changes to help the taxpayer.
It is a shame that “Teachers” have placed themselves above the children of Wisconsin. Using “Near Bribery Tactics” to fatten their own pockets is sad. More to follow tomorrow.